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Sensing God

Sensing God

Well, friends, the COVID days are dragging on. Our prayer is that the spread will cease, we can wave good-bye to fear and once again gather freely with family, friends, and in our churches.

While we wait, let’s continue to seek the Lord and intentionally dwell in His presence…and encourage our children to do the same.

One of the blessings in the midst of this pandemic has been the numbers of families outdoors spending quality time together, exercising—running, walking, and biking.

What if, as we spend time in God’s creation, we determine to be purposeful in sensing God’s presence, His love, and His provision? What if we actually use our senses to be the springboard to conversations with our children? And what if those conversations lead us to join together as a family in thankfulness and praise?

Consider the outdoor spot before you as His sanctuary and “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” (Psalm 100:4)

Whether you have preschoolers, school-age children, or even early teens, use the concept of their five senses to be observant, be engaged in the world around them, and to appreciate the great detail in God’s creation. Be aware of the opportunities for teachable moments in your everyday routines.

In Deuteronomy 6, Moses gives instructions to the Israelites on the importance of loving God with all their hearts, souls, and their strength, and to follow His commands. He encourages them to impress these things on their children, to “talk about them when they walk along the road.” Those words apply to our families today. What an opportunity!

Depending on the age of your child, you might want to begin with a mini-lesson of the five senses to prepare them for your journey. Remind them that God gave us the senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Instruct them that you want everyone to pay close attention to the sights, sounds, feelings, smells, and tastes (as safety permits) around them. The possibilities with this are so vast that you can enjoy participating in this process for many days of walking—and your children will learn to look for God in their everyday moments.

Look all around you. Play a game of things you can SEE that God made. He made the trees, the grass, the sky, the flowers, the birds, and so on. Thank Him for the things He made. When your child names something that doesn’t fall into the category of things that God made, the door is open for a discussion of how God gave people the minds to build the houses, the fences, the stop signs, and the ice cream store. Thank God for giving men and women the gifts to design and build.

Take a few moments to LISTEN. What are the sounds you hear? Do you hear your footsteps as you walk? Thank God that He gave you that ability. That discussion can lead you to people that aren’t able to walk for various reasons, but that God gave men and women the abilities to devise ways for those people to get around—prosthetics, wheelchairs, and so on. Listen to the birds in the trees or flying above. Remind your children that God cares for the birds and provides for them. He loves us even more. Hearing geese honking overhead might lead to a conversation about migration, and God’s incredible plan in that.

FEEL His breeze around you, comforting you from the heat of the sun, the soft petals of a flower, the crunchiness of fallen leaves, the fluffy fur of a dog you pass along the way. Of course there are needed lessons like “leaves of three, let them be” and always asking before touching someone’s pet. Should you feel drops of sweat rolling down your face, God did that. Thank Him for creating our bodies with a means of cooling themselves.

As the old saying goes, “Take time to stop and SMELL the roses.” Literally, do it. Do you have gardenias in your neighborhood? Magnolia trees? Is there a lavender plant in your yard or herbs that have an aroma? Thank God for that pleasing gift to us! Now, of course, most kids also love to point out the stinky things, so go for it and have a little fun.

Your little jaunt might not abound in things to TASTE, and of course you need to abide by all safety concerns and teach that safety. Should you have honeysuckle anywhere nearby, that’s always a little miraculous treat. That one tiny drop of sweetness never fails to amaze. Perhaps there’s a local ice cream shop close by to reward all the hard work. Or maybe popsicles in your freezer. What a blessing our gift of taste is. Celebrate it. “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”

As we prayerfully venture toward whatever the “new normal” is, be intentional in getting the most out of what this season offers us. SENSE that God is near, that He is creator, and that He is in control. We parents and our children can benefit from Paul’s instruction in Philippians 4:6 that says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

By: Kristi Butler is a wife, mom, and grandmommy to six. She loves to teach and write about the goodness of the Lord. Her books for children can be found at www.amazinggraceacres.blogspot.com.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

5 Comments

  1. Beautiful words. We love to be in nature and are blessed to live near the mountains. Hugs.

    • Thank you, Tanya!!!

  2. Great post! Even those of us without children at home benefit from the reminder that God did not fall
    Off the throne. No matter how frustrated we are with the current normal or new normal. Starting the day off with a right attitude makes a big difference. Look for ways to be a blessing to your neighbors. Maybe some you haven’t even met yet. Enjoy some prayer walks in your neighborhood. Many options. Thanks Kristi.

  3. Oh my good Sweet Friend , yet again your precious words have not only inspired me, but have challenged me to “Taste and See”

    Thank you for this reminder that I often miss in my worry & business ♥️

  4. Kristi- what a wonderful reminder of God’s love and provision! Thank you !💖

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